The Year the Backlog Blinked

Historically, I’ve been much better about buying games than actually playing them.

I have been FAR too easily-influenced by a good deal, or by the prospect of needing to buy a game RIGHT NOW lest it go out of print, or by simple internet hype. Between 2010 and 2014, I usually finished a couple of dozen games each year, and that didn’t even come near to the number that wound up sitting on shelves or in my Steam library.

For some reason, 2015 proved an exception. I played through 114 games – and the last hundred of those started in mid-May – and also took a hard look at the shelves and Steam library and did a lot of culling. Co-incidentally, I had a friend who wanted to make some extra money and offered to do some eBay selling on my behalf in exchange for a cut of profits, so a few hundred games found their way into her apartment and have been slowly filtering out to game collectors around the world.

Obviously that doesn’t apply to Steam, but I made liberal use of the “Hide this product in your inventory” checkbox to get things out of my face.

The side effect is that I think I’ve got a much better handle on the sorts of games I’ll actually play. I should buy a LOT fewer sequels, for one – I have a bad habit of liking the first game in a series and then buying all the subsequent entries. Also, while I DID manage to play through 5 JRPGs (7 if you count FFXIV and its expansion), I should probably avoid buying any more of those for a while…

…with the exception of Star Ocean 5, which is going to be a buy-day-one-take-the-shrinkwrap-off-and-GO sort of thing.

I did play through a bunch of short visual novels. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t have the patience for super long ones with many branching points, so games with very few paths, or even straight-up kinetic novels are going to be more my speed.

I also played 8 hidden-object games, mostly with my wife next to me so we could swap off for certain kinds of puzzles. She gets the trapped-princess and Tower of Hanoi puzzles, I get the interlocking rotating rings sort of things, we fight over the jigsaws.

Beyond that, there weren’t a ton of surprises. I did the usual mix of FPS and action games, dabbled a little in horror games (two Silent Hills, two Fatal Frames), tapped and swore my way through a half-dozen rhythm games, that sort of thing.

2015 was decidedly a fluke, and one that I’m unlikely to repeat at any point. My goal for this year isn’t to even try, but rather to simply refrain from buying games until I am ready to actually play them. In other words, whether I’m dropping sixty bucks on a new release or five on a quirky indie title, my next move should be to load it up and, well, Press Start To Play.

Let’s see how long this lasts 🙂

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